Thursday, 21 December 2017

12 Days of Christmas // Day 8 // Christmas Collaboration

How is it only 4 more days 'til Christmas?? Time is just flying, I tell ya! 

Anywayyy...welcome to the 8th day of the 12 Days of Christmas blog party! 

For today's post, I actually did a collab with my bestie, Olivia Nickerson from 9 Kids plus 2. A couple of weeks ago, we all were given the opportunity to play at a Christmas recital and it was AMAZING. There were some ups and downs in getting everything ready, but as you can see in the video below, we were able to pull if off p.r.e.t.t.y well if I do say so myself!

To hear the background story on rehearsals and practices and such (as well as a possible amount of ranting ;)) you can go to Livs' blog HERE and read our collab post. 

Have a lovely Thursday everyone and don't forget! 

4 More Days to Go!!! 

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

12 Days of Christmas // Day 6 // Why's Personalization Important?

Welcome to Day 6 of the party! How are y'all enjoying yourselves? Aren't there some pretty awesome posts coming up? Also...anyone see the super cool, super amazing giveaway that Faith's hosting? If'd better go check out her blog! Here, I'll even help you get started and give you the link to her blog ;)

Today I bring to you...a hack in writing calligraphy

To start off, you're gonna want to grab a piece of paper and a pen and sharpie marker. The sharpie marker is optional, but it does make it easier - sometimes. Also, if you do decide to go for the sharpie, make sure it's the fine tip. 

Using the pen, write some words down; cursive works the best. Don't be afraid of making mistakes. If you go slow, your lines will end up kinda shaky. Just let the ink flow from the pen and just write. Ok so that's easier said than done, especially when you're a perfectionist (*points to self*) but try not to worry too much about it.

Once you've got the words written down, write a second line along any downward stroke on the word.

The rest of the lines maaayy look like they need to be thickened or made darker - but don't darken them. That'll ruin the effect of the final product later.

Once you've got those second lines drawn, start filling them it! And - try to stay within the lines. We're going back to the days of colouring pages y'all! ;)

So, the reason I said that sharpie marker helps but sometimes doesn't, is because of this. When you're filling in the lines, Sharpie makes it go a lot faster. However, especially depending on the type of paper you use, the marker will sometimes bleed out so then your curves aren't as smooth as you'd like. You can probably see some of that on that "J". So if you don't mind taking a bit more time, you can always use an ink pen too.

And another fun font you can use...if you use caps and then again drawing lines along any downward stroke on the word and just leave it like that.

And you're done! Super easy and super fun too. It does take a bit more time than if you were to just write a Christmas card, but hey. That's what makes it even more special, right?

Which brings me to a question I've had this year: Why is Personalization So Important?

It's the season where everyone's buying gifts for people - friends, family, the lady at the post office, your next door neighbour, etc. I've always liked writing cards (sometimes rather lengthy ones xD) to people whenever I give them a gift, but this year especially, I wondered if I could personalize the gifts themselves. 

Why? Well, you know the saying "time is precious and can not be bought"? Well, I believe that it's not how much money or how big the gift is that makes it's how much time you spend on it. That's what makes homemade gifts so special to me, because I know that a person spent their time, precious time that once used can never be used again, on it. 

Now I'm not saying buying gifts is bad. No indeedy. But how do you buy gifts? There's a difference between grabbing a random thing off a shelf to stick in a bag and actually taking the time to look for the right gift. 

So this Christmas season when you're buying and wrapping those gifts - remember the true motive for it...and the reason behind it. Nothing can compare to the ultimately precious and amazing gift that God gave to the world, but we can use that as an example as to what we should follow. Let's not just give a gift because we have to or because everyone else is doing it. Let's give gifts to show people how special they are to you and to show how much you love them. 

Because that's the whole meaning of Christmas. Right? 

Saturday, 16 December 2017

12 Days of Christmas // Day 3 // Cinnamon Roll Cookies

Ack! Welcome to the third day of the blog party! Go HERE to visit Faith's blog and see the list of bloggers posting today with their awesome Chritmas posts!!

So for this all get to see me attempt to try a new recipe! I had actually seen my friend already try to make it, and since they looked so good I decided to try them myself. And is typical when I'm in the kitchen, I encountered problems. BIG ones. But anyway. You'll get to that later. So! Onto some Cinnamon Roll Cookies!

So to start you will need: 

2 1/4 cup Flour 

3/4 cup White Sugar

3/4 cup Butter

1 Egg

1/2 tsp of Baking Powder


2 teaspoons Vanilla

Take the butter and sugar and mix it together. And then beat it. Very well.

You'll know you've beat it enough when it becomes lighter and fluffier. Something like this.

Drop in that egg and mix it up. One key thing when making cookies is to make sure you stir it enough...but not too much. Otherwise it'll get all doughy and icky.

Once that egg's stirred in, stir in that oh so good smelling but awful tasting vanilla.

Dump in the flour (ok so don't actually dump in the flour. I was in a hurry and dumped it and...yep! Got flour aaaaaallll over me. That was fun xD) Anywayyyy...stir that in until just incorporated.

My dough was extremely dry (I'm blaming the extreme cold outside and inside cause really, our house is like a fridge...might I even say freezer? in winter) soooo I used my fingers to bring the dough together.

Once you've got the dough together into a ball, cut it in half and then leave it to rest while you get your filling. I mean, they are cinnamon roll cookies, so of course it needs a filling! For anyone who's made cinnamon rolls before, you probably already know what's in here.

Sooooo you will need:

2 tablespoons Butter (sofftened or melted, whatever's easier for you)
1/4 cup white Sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Gonna say now though...if you feel like you need more of any of those ingredients - go for it. I added more cinnamon to mine because *shrugs* You can never have too much cinnamon.
Excuse the peculiar rotation of my picture. Didn't quite upload properly xD)
Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and watch all those lovely swirls blend together.

Now for the fun part...aka the really messy part. Grab one of the balls of dough and place it on a mat or cutting board or parchment paper. Now, I tried it on a flexible cutting board we had - BIG mistake. My dough was waaaaay too crumbly and trying to roll it up was a HUGE mess because it kept cracking :/ SO...what I ended up doing was adding a liiiiitle water (very, very tiny bit) to my second ball of dough and letting it soften up a bit before rolling it out.

So yeah! Take a rolling pin and roll your dough out into a rectangle. Also...I reeeeaaaallly don't like it when recipes say by how many inches the length and width of said rectangle should be....because it normal to have a ruler to measure your dough with or something? If it is...I shall admit then I am not normal. Cause yeahhhh....I've never rolled dough out exactly as the recipe says :P I just guesstimate. Since you're rolling UP the dough, you want to make sure it's not too thin otherwise you're gonna have a rather hard time.

Once the dough's rolled out to your desired thickness, length, and width, spread half of the butter (remember you have another ball you gotta roll out) all over the dough.

Then sprinkle on the cinnamon-sugar! Don't forget the edges...they don't want to be left out. I mentioned earlier, after this you roll your dough up just like a cinnamon roll. Start at one end of the dough and begin to roll it up, moving along the dough until one roll is complete, and then going back over to do it. Rolling it tightly is KEY for the cookies to come out properly.

And taking a short break from ingredient pictures to show you my dear sister's face as she watched me dispair over my first roll since it cracked all the way up to the end xD

This here's the second ball of dough...softened and rolled out a liiiitle thicker than the second one. Also placed it on parchment paper which helps soooo much. It rolled waaaay better too.

After you've got your dough all rolled up, place it in the fridge and let it chill. For some recipes, you can skip the chilling, but for these ones, you MUST chill the dough. Otherwise you will completely lose the shape of your dough.

It also helps sooo much when you cut out your dough since it's all nice and firm. I think this was my favourite part of the recipe...cutting the dough into nice little swirly circles. So fun!

Lay your cookies on a baking tray and stick them in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. 

Once they're brown underneath, you'll know they're done. 

Once they're cool, it's time for the next step that is crucial for any cinnamon roll to be a cinnamon roll. Don't know about you, but cinnamon rolls just aren't complete until they have...
ICING. Your icing is pretty simple to make, just milk and icing sugar and a little vanilla if you want it. Watch the consistency of your icing though, too thick and it won't drizzle nicely, but too thin and it'll just become invisible on your cookie! It must be just right, as Baby Bear would say ;)

And there! You're done! They make a great cookie for parties or just a snack at home! I was able to bring them to our church youth Christmas party, which was sooo fun ^_^

Let me know if you try this recipe at home! I'd love to see pictures of them :D And let me know how the rolling goes ;)

Do you like frosting on cinnamon roll cookies? 

What's one of your favourite Christmas cookies? 

You ready for Christmas??

10 More Days to Go!!! 

Thursday, 14 December 2017

12 Days of Christmas // Day 1 // Christmas in a Mug

Let the countdown begin! Can you believe it? TWELVE more days until Christmas!! Ahh...SO exciting!

Anyway...I come to you with The 12 Days of Christmas, hosted by the lovely Faith P. You can go to her blog HERE to see all the other wonderful bloggers joining us in this fun Christmas blog link up.

To kick off the 12 Days of Christmas, I'm going to start off with a Christmas gift DIY that I did this year for several presents. It's super simple, very pretty, and tons of fun too!

Christmas in a Mug start off, you are going to need: 

A Mug

Isn't this sweater mug just so cute?
 You can find a variety of Christmasy mugs at a dollar store. Heads up though, just cause it says dollar store doesn't mean it's actually a dollar xD But...they're still a pretty good price and usually pretty good quality too!
My sister and I went to the dollar store one day and came back with several types of Christmasy mugs like this one. I LOVE the sweater mug, it just looks so nice and cozy. 

A Pair of Fluffy Socks

'Cause who doesn't love a pair of fluffy socks? I think I wear these kind of socks all winter long. Lovely to snuggle up with a warm cup of something hot, a blanket, a book, and these oh so soft and fluffy socks!

A Candy Bar
Any candy bar works just fine! Kit Kat, Snickers, Mars Bar, etc. For this mug, I'm using a Coffee Crisp, but I also grabbed a couple Kit Kats for other mugs. 
A Variety of Chocolates
Choice of chocolate is completely up to you! To make it more Christmas-y, you can grab chocolates that are wrapped holiday style. And really, Bulk Barn is the place to go, y'all! I seriously love that place.
Peppermint Hersheys. SO good. And the wrappers add great colour to the mug!
Ooh, and these darling chocolates-wrapped-like-presents. Perfect for the theme!
Aaaand, almond Hersheys. Course...the wrapper again. Gold accents - perfect. 
Candy Canes
Just some mini candy canes to stick randomly in the cup. I was aiming for a heart...but it wouldn't really stay xD
(proof of this later on)
Other Small Gifts
Totally optional, but if you want to add even more to your mug, you can always grab other small gifts like gift cards or lip balms. One of my students from my English class makes and sells lip balms (her strawberry scented ones are THE BEST) so I bought several from her to use as filling in my mug. And I also got a Tim's card to slip in as well.
One Big, Glorious, Red and White Peppermint Stick

Ok so! To assemble the mug, you're first gonna take your oh-so-fluffy socks and lay 'em out flat. Then put the candy bar on one end and roll it up! Then squish it into the mug so that it fills it perfectly! 
Then stick the gift card in the back and the big peppermint stick next to the candy bar. 
Now for the mini candy canes. As you can see here, I attempted the heart and it didn't look TOO bad...
But then they closed together because yep, that's what they wanted to do. I "sprinkled" both types of Hersheys into the cup, but I will admit, I did a teeeeny bit of rearranging because some of the colours were clumping together. 

Then to finish it off, add the chocoate presents. 

And voila! You're done! 

And that wraps it up for today! Hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you've ever tried this before! 

Don't forget to check by Faith's blog for more Christmas posts by a bunch of awesome bloggers! 

12 Days to Go!!!